When looking for a job abroad, always make sure that you are transacting with a legitimate agency. If you are not careful, you might become a victim of human trafficking.
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In recent news, some of our kababayans answered a job ad and ended up working for a mafia against their will. With this unfortunate incident, our local government has renewed calls to be careful when accepting job offers, especially if they are done through social media only.
Don’t Be A Victim
A commentary that appeared in The Pilipino Star Ngayon, entitled “Social Media Sinisisi sa Human Trafficking,” talks about the recent issue about some of our kababayans who answered an ad for call center agents in some countries in Asia. And when they got to their country of destination, they discovered that they would work as scammers. Those who are unable to reach the quota are punished, and they cannot back out of the work because they will be required to reimburse the expenses.
Here are the important points discussed in the article:
- One of the problems with using social media to look for jobs abroad is that you are not sure if these are legitimate or not.
- The applicant is also not sure if they will be safe in their jobs.
- It is not normal to transact with the recruiter using social media. Instead, both parties should meet in the office of the recruiter if they are indeed legitimate.
- Applicants should be wary of applying for a job as a call center agent to be deployed overseas. It is now possible to do this kind of task in the Philippines because of the available technology.
- The Department of Migrant Workers has received complaints from those who applied to work as call center agents in Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Laos. Those who were recruited reported long working hours and inhuman conditions.
- DMW also reported that the case of human trafficking has worsened because the recruiters use social media to talk to their victims. The department has been monitoring posts on Meta (or Facebook).
- They coordinated with Meta Philippines to have some posts taken down. They are also taking steps to disseminate the information to the local sectors
Stories from the Victims
Meanwhile, the article also shared these reports, as mentioned by the victims themselves:
- The victims reported that they applied as call center agents and received a monthly salary.
- They were able to leave the country through the airport, while one used Mindanao as a gateway.
- They were given money to process their applications at OWWA and POEA.
- Processing of the application was easy because the recruiters have connections with the Bureau of Immigration and at the airport.
- Only when they were in Cambodia did they realize that they would work as scammers, and by then it was too late to back out of the job.
- They were required to post on social media sites and recruit other Filipinos. And if they do not reach their quota, they will be punished.
- During the Senate investigation, it was also discovered that the immigration stamp on their passports was fake.
- In the end, the applicants are reminded to be vigilant and be sure to check every application. Make sure to follow the legal procedure so as not to jeopardize your chances abroad.
If you or someone you know is looking for better opportunities, make sure to look for legitimate agencies so that you will not get in trouble.
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